or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Boot Canting issue

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I have been told I ski knock-kneed. Well, yes, I do when my knees are bent. Can this be fixed by boot canting, or by technique, or is it permanent?

The reason my knees do this is anatomical. When I stand up straight, feet about shoulder-width apart, barefoot or in regular shoes or in ski boots, with both feet pointed straight ahead (as on skis), and bend my knees, my knees track inward in a big way. By the time I get down into a tight tuck the knees are touching. The only way to keep those knees a consistent distance apart as I bend them, and keep my shins parallel, is to press hard downward on the outsides of my feet. Translate this into skiing, and you see the problem.

On my own I tried a little boot manipulation this last weekend. I placed shims under the insides of my footbeds, which lifted up the insides of my feet and moved my knees apart without my needing to press down on the outsides of my feet/skis. I used two layers the first day in each boot. Boy was that outside ski fast to get on edge, but I found myself skiing pidgeon-toed, stemming all my turns, and it felt very wrong underfoot.

The second day I reduced the number of shims to only one under the inside edges of the footbeds. This felt better, and the stemming disappeared, but I could tell my knees were still tracking to the inside when I bent them.

Aside: The previous canting my bootfitter did last year was to place shims under the OUTSIDE edges of my footbeds, because I am a supinator. It was while I skied with my boots canted this way that I was told I was skiing knock-kneed. I removed these and added my shims on the other side when I decided to do this little experiment.

Can tweaking the gear in any way get my knees to behave normally and my shins to stay parallel? Can resolve and practice get ME to make that happen without relying on gear tweaking? Or am I destined by anatomy to ski knock-kneed? Any experienced bootfitter out there know the answer?
post #2 of 25
I think you are messing with the wrong factors that are merely having a secondary effect (and screwing up other things). The only way I can get my knees to go significantly inward when bending is to force a pigeon-toed stance. Do you have that as a natural tendency?

Both canting and lateral lifts address other issues more directly.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post
The only way I can get my knees to go significantly inward when bending is to force a pigeon-toed stance. Do you have that as a natural tendency?
Your anatomy and mine are different, which is understandable because people are built differently. When I am standing with my feet pointed straight ahead, not pigeon-toed, and I bend my knees, the knees go inward, and finally touch each other as I go lower. This is real. My feet do not move, nor twist outward at the toes as this happens. I keep them flat on the floor, with no foot-acrobatics going on. The knees just do this.

I think there is a descriptor for this, and it's called the Q-factor, but I'm not really sure this term applies. I also think this happens because of how the femur is attached at the pelvis, but again I'm not sure.
post #4 of 25
OK..you need a boot that is set up "toe out" i.e. Nordica makes a shell that is set up that way. Here is a test...stand with you feet straight, flex forward, and do your knees become knock kneed then? If so, stand with your toes slightly pointed out, i.e. duck footed, and then do the knees go straight forward? If so, this might be a consideration.
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
OK..you need a boot that is set up "toe out" i.e. Nordica makes a shell that is set up that way. Here is a test...stand with you feet straight, flex forward, and do your knees become knock kneed then? If so, stand with your toes slightly pointed out, i.e. duck footed, and then do the knees go straight forward? If so, this might be a consideration.
You got it. That's me.
So how do the nordica boots work?
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Oh OH, Phil, do the boots allow me to have duck feet while still pointing the skis forward?

REALLY???

I am so happy. I know how they will work. That's great. I can't believe this is true. I have always walked duck-footed.
All Nordica boots, or just one special model?
Does any other brand make this kind of boot?
post #7 of 25
SHH is the person to talk to about this, he is who showed me. I am not sure which Nordica's are this way or if anyone else does this. Another option is in your bindings, the older Salomon 900 series toe had the ability to adjust the wings seperate, so you could "toe out", but I am not sure if that will give you enough. It is an option for you if you are in love with your current boots. But PM SHH, he will be able to help you here, IIRC, he has the same issue.
post #8 of 25
LiquidFeet, yes, Nordica Aggressors work that way, and they are not the only ones. Fischers do, as well. I have also heard that some of the Atomics do, too. The real key, though, is to find the ones that work for your particular anatomy.

As Phil mentions, I track the same way you do. My feet are also short for my height (I am 6' tall and my feet are street 8 1/2 and narrow). If you've followed my other threads here, you know that Jeff Bergeron and Bud Heishman have both worked on my boots, with Jeff doing most of the work. In my case, there were two primary components to getting me balanced in the boots: the footbed and the stance.

Jeff built a footbed for me in 2003. The footbed alone corrects a high percentage of that tracking, but not all of it. With the slight toes-out stance of the Aggressors (1 degree out, and the last is pivoted on the lug at the heel, not under the foot), my legs tracked straight when I first got into the Aggressors. Most of the work that Jeff did on them, as a result, was fit-related, not stance/balance.

I'm sure that Bud will have some things to say about this, and I know that Phil has sent him a PM, too. Let me know if you have other questions, and I'll try to answer them.
post #9 of 25
LiquidFeet, what boots are you in now? Who set you up?
post #10 of 25
Mosh (Eric) also works on boots from the inside with SHIMS. He is out of Durrance Sports in ASpen. He and Bud worked togheter at ESA Aspen and had plans (hope so) for a 'boot meetng of the minds' as their work is probably complimentary. Mosh placed a 2.5 degree shim in my left boot with quite striking results for my balance/carving. You can check with him on your issues as well. He is more for balance and has a speical machine that can measure howe many degrees of shim you really need.
post #11 of 25
post #12 of 25
Hi Liquidfeet!

I read your post. Yes I believe a good footbed will help with tracking and then have your lateral canting checked too. The Nordica Agressor or the Fischer boot with offset will help but in your case may not be enough so you may also have to cant the boot too.

boot luck!
bud
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
LiquidFeet, what boots are you in now? Who set you up?
I am in Atomic T-9s.
My boots and I live and ski in New England.

A bootfitter in North Conway, NH, did the footbeds and canted them. He didn't know exactly how to deal with the knee tracking and the supination. He tried putting the cant wedges on the outsides of the feet. Guess that didn't work. At no point did anyone talk about pointing my toes outward, duck-wise. That really makes sense to me.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
So it seems to me that any rigid support, either underfoot, or along the side of the ankle/shin, that fixes the placement of my knees over my toes when I'm standing straight up, will still leave me knock-kneed when my knees are bent. If it fixes the placement of my knees over my toes when I'm bent at the knee, I will be bow-legged when I stand straight up.

Instead of messing with shims here and there, I think that pointing my toes outward and affixing them to boots/skis pointed straightward will take care of it all. I know from a lifetime of experience that if I am duckfooted in my stance, and I bend down into a tuck, the knees drop down towards the floor along a vertical plumb line. This has always worried me, as skiers must keep those darn skis pointed straight ahead.

Is there some logic amiss in this line of thought?
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Jeff built a footbed for me in 2003. The footbed alone corrects a high percentage of that tracking, but not all of it. With the slight toes-out stance of the Aggressors (1 degree out, and the last is pivoted on the lug at the heel, not under the foot), my legs tracked straight when I first got into the Aggressors. Most of the work that Jeff did on them, as a result, was fit-related, not stance/balance.
1. How does a footbed change the direction that the knee takes as it bends?
2. What does "pivoted on the lug at the heel, not under the foot" mean???

I will be getting new boots in the fall, and having them worked on in northern New Hampshire. I want to know as much as I can when I walk into the place to get the boots. Perhaps the bootfitter and I can do this together. Perhaps the bootfitter will wish I'd never walked in after a couple of hours of this, but we'll see.

I know where I plan on going so far, but if anybody has any alternative suggestions I'll take them and think about it. I ski in the same town every weekend, so it seems like my best bet for a bootfitter is going to be someone there.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
So it seems to me that any rigid support, either underfoot, or along the side of the ankle/shin, that fixes the placement of my knees over my toes when I'm standing straight up, will still leave me knock-kneed when my knees are bent. If it fixes the placement of my knees over my toes when I'm bent at the knee, I will be bow-legged when I stand straight up.

Instead of messing with shims here and there, I think that pointing my toes outward and affixing them to boots/skis pointed straightward will take care of it all. I know from a lifetime of experience that if I am duckfooted in my stance, and I bend down into a tuck, the knees drop down towards the floor along a vertical plumb line. This has always worried me, as skiers must keep those darn skis pointed straight ahead.

Is there some logic amiss in this line of thought?
A properly made footbed will help tracking by rotating the knee outward. Canting a boot (by shaving material off the lateral sides) will rotate the knee outward. A boot which is offset (duck footed) will allow the knee to track somewhat more normally for a person in your situation however, will probably not solve all your tracking problem as it sounds like you have a more extreme case. This type boot would be a great choice for you but don't expect it to neccessarily be the complete solution.

b
post #17 of 25
Try these guys (Ehrhart brothers I think). If it is them, they're really into it. The normally sell to fitters, maybe they know of somone close to you that can help.

http://www.cantco.net/index.html
post #18 of 25
I've been lurking this thread for a few days to see which direction it would lead. I agree with the path that Bud has taken with possibly a few additions. Here's my $.02:

I have found that with increased flexion of the knee, there will be a resulting abductive movement at the foot. At the ankle's (talo-crural joint) end range of motion (maximum dorsilflexion), the abduction will markedly increase. In response to LiquidFeet, I would also check that there is proper "range" available in the ankle joint in respect to dorsilflexion. Additionally, his current boot may be putting him in this position. (big calf,high forward lean angle, zeppa delta) Usually, with increased abduction at the foot, the thigh (femur) will rotate into a higher "Q" angle and result into an "A" frame posture. Creating a orthotic/footbed with the proper posting is a great start. Sole planing (canting), decreasing upper cuff forward lean, and increasing "two footed" symmetry will get this skier happy.
post #19 of 25
Liquidfeet,
My knees also track inward significantly.
My boots fit comfortably. I've had expert (highly recommended here and elsewhere) bootfitters check my alignment and both agreed that I had good footbeds and I did not need canting. Despite their evaluations I still do not feel my setup is what it should be. When I do the balance exercises with shims under the inside of my feet a little shim seems to help the balance but if I shim it enough to make knees flex straighter I feel like I'm standing on the outside edges of my feet.
All of my shoes have arch support insoles to eliminate pronation yet the only time during the year that I stand or walk with my feet parallel is when my feet are forced in place in a ski boot. At all other times, including when I'm running on my toes, my toes point outward, which straightens my knees. When I walk, run, exercise or play tennis my balance position is with my knees flexed and toes pointed out. Only skiing do I try to force my toes to point straight ahead.
I wish there was an easy way to try some of these abducted boots for a few days to see if they really work. I'm just not convinced that my alignment issues are because my feet are pronating. I think it's just because my knees are crooked and if I had boots that worked with my knees the knees would work better without messing with the bottom of my feet.
Maybe I should take up snowboarding?
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveturner View Post
My knees also track inward significantly.
I'm just not convinced that my alignment issues are because my feet are pronating. I think it's just because my knees are crooked and if I had boots that worked with my knees the knees would work better without messing with the bottom of my feet.
Knees the same with me. But I'm a supinator. I'm going to try those boots that move the toes out. However, I can't imagine any boot that positions the foot in the position I walk in, run in, just plain stand in.

Oh, the other sport that forces the feet to point forward is biking. The pedal is only so wide, and duck footed feet slip off or the heels bang into the rear wheel.
post #21 of 25
Exercise bikes and long bike rides make my knees hurt. I always thought it was at least partly because the pedals pushed my feet in a direction they did not like. I went back to exercising on a treadmill and the discomfort stopped.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
Oh, the other sport that forces the feet to point forward is biking. The pedal is only so wide, and duck footed feet slip off or the heels bang into the rear wheel.
- get a cleat that allows offset
- get a cleat that allows float
- get pedal extenders
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveturner View Post
Exercise bikes and long bike rides make my knees hurt.
Have a bikefitter watch you pedal on a trainer.
post #24 of 25
Re: the bike, also look at Q-factor, the width from one pedal to the other. For example a double is narrower than a triple crank.
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
- get a cleat that allows offset
- get a cleat that allows float
- get pedal extenders
It's good to know these exist. Will look into it.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion